PORT ARANSAS, Texas — There's new attraction to check out in Port Aransas.
A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday morning for a new observation tower at Horace Caldwell Pier.
The structure cost $1,200,000 to build and included ADA upgrades of an existing restroom located in the Horace Caldwell Pier Pavilion. The observation deck measures 2,100 square feet.
Charlie Zahn, chairman of the Port Authority for the Port of Corpus Christi, said this project has been in the works for several years.
"Believe or not, I was involved in this project as chairman of the coastal park board 11 years ago," he said.
Zahn says at that time, they worked out a plan but were unable to finance it.
The project picked up steam again when the Nueces County Court of Commissioners and the Coastal Parks Department of Nueces County went to Washington, D.C. and got most of the funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.
Zahn said they weren't able to get all the funding.
"And they came to me as chairman of the Port Authority and asked if we could provide that last piece of the funding to make this a reality and by putting an educational component in this piece right here, the Port of Corpus Christi was able to be partner and we're extremely proud to be a partner with them," he said.
Besides providing a great view of the Gulf, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said, "by the summertime it's gonna have educational kiosks and all kinds of opportunities for young and old alike to come and learn about the Gulf of Mexico and our habitat that surrounds us here in our Coastal Bend and coastal parks area."
" I think it gives some public meeting space, if people want to use it and bring their kids out here and enjoy a picnic and I just think it's a great addition for our tourists to use and our locals to use," Precinct 4 County Commissioner Brent Chesney added.
The observation tower is open to the public for free.